Friday, September 16, 2016

Where We're At

I'd intended to be in the saddle a lot more this week than I actually was. Life happens that way sometimes. Really, though, I think it was a blessing in disguise.

I know that I'm crooked in the saddle. The physical habits developed during pregnancy to protect my stressed hip are still in the process of being rewritten, so riding correctly feels absolutely wrong. It's very hard to battle that without eyes on the ground, and I don't want these habits to become deeply associated with "this feels good" riding.

So. Today I had my first postpartum lesson with Trainer Lady. Feedback was exactly as I expected: a surprising amount of progress from where we were when my riding hiatus started 10 months ago, but also some issues that did not exist previously.

The really obvious problem is the hip protection thing, which causes my entire right side to collapse as my left side bears the weight. However, this leads to other seemingly unrelated problems. Apparently, having to focus so much mental energy on the right side causes other muscles to think they don't have to do anything. Oops.

Moving on to the positives: Trainer Lady was excited to see how much better my communication with Shuga has become. I spent my riding hiatus studying and I have a much clearer understanding now of not only what the aids are, but why they are.

The end result is that Shuga is trusting me more, I'm trusting her more, and it's definitely showing.

[Thanks to my little helpers. Without them this would have been a boring, pictureless blog.]

Friday, September 9, 2016

Getting Started. Again.

My riding plans for this year did not go as planned. Pregnancy will do that to you, they say. I'm excited to say that, finally, I'm back in the saddle. Essentially I am starting from the very beginning all over again. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a bit discouraging.

But I have a plan! My club is putting on a Halloween schooling show next month, and that's what I'm aiming for.

If I'm completely honest, this is a rather ridiculous goal. I only got back in the saddle again for the first time last week, and was floored by the lack of physical capability. Even though it isn't as terrible as I'd been bracing myself for, it's bad. I have enough strength for a little trotting; cantering, like the number 5, is right out.

My only hope to actually make it to the schooling show? Being able to ride 3-4 times a week to build up the muscle and stamina I've lost. I'm at the mercy of Idaho weather to meet this goal, which is not a good place to be.

I took a look through tests tonight, looking for one that feels at least somewhat reasonable as a goal. Again with the honesty thing: even aiming for a passable novice test is probably worthy of a derisive snort.

But doing the impossible is what makes us mighty.